If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

1 Peter 4:14-15


When Peter and John were beaten and imprisoned for preaching Jesus, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:41). When Paul and Silas were cast into the darkest corner of the Philippian jail, they sang songs so loud the whole prison heard the melody (Acts 16:25).

When a Christian is reproached for doing something wrong, he should feel ashamed (ch2:20). On the other hand, when his only “crime” is being a faithful follower of the Lord, then he should be happy to suffer reproach. If preaching the name of Christ is wrong, I don’t want to be right! In such cases, Peter says that God will be with His persecuted child. The Spirit of glory and God rests upon that suffering son.

The end of this verse shows the two different viewpoints at play. There is the viewpoint of the persecutor, who slanders the name of Christ, speaking evil of the Lord. On the other hand there is the viewpoint of the persecuted Christian; he glorifies the Lord, praising Him and thanking Him for the honor of suffering for Him.

It is only when suffer for the cause of Christ that you will be blessed. If you suffer because you committed sinful crimes, then you don’t have a spiritual leg to stand on. If you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer (which just a catch-all term for criminal), or as a busybody in other men’s matters (in other words, a meddler or a nosy person, or a trespasser in more extreme cases), then you deserve whatever punishment you get.

Too often in our modern culture, a celebrity or a famous athlete will commit a crime and then immediately take to twitter to say that God is testing him, or that she’s not worried about what everyone may say about her, because God is on her side.

Nonsense like that comes from people who feel justified in doing wrong, and assume that invoking the name of God is going to absolve them of any guilt. On the contrary, it only adds to your problems. God isn’t testing you when you are punished for committing a crime. If anything God is…wait for it…punishing you for committing a crime! If you suffer for doing wrong you deserve it, because you did wrong.

If you suffer as  Christian, however (1 Peter 4:16), you have the honor of experiencing what the Master experienced. What an honor it is to suffer like He did. You get to be innocent, but treated like the guilty. That’s worthy of a song.